The Pyramid of Urban Crime

Criminology has modernized itself as an empirical social science and has moved away – definitively, I believe – from the criminal preponderance of its studies (without, however, losing its criminal vision), in favor of sociological approaches, especially at the community level; axiological, with emphasis on the contrast between the ethical values ​​proclaimed and those actually practiced by society; and victimization.


This fact tends to generate a Criminal Policy

This fact tends to generate a Criminal Policy

Not only fulfills the role of bridge between the conclusions of Criminology and Criminal Law, but also serves as a filter in this transition so as to be either for prevention or for facilitating the alternative solution of conflicts, secondly, avoiding its banalization and preserving it for cases in which the State should actually apply retributive justice.

The new Criminology is not primarily concerned with crime and the criminal, but with all socially relevant crimes and their causes; with society, which, in large measure, produces them; with the victims; and with the formal or informal social control that prevails. Consequently, it induces this same scope – that with PONe the concept of criminality – in the diagnosis of the reality of public security.

It is necessary to have such a conception in mind, so as not to err in opinion, advise or decide on solutions concerning problems of urban violence, the dangerous nature of crime, and the generalization of it. As we will see, this reality is indivisible, because it is composed of factors that integrate and interact, creating synergy and dynamics of crime in each city or metropolitan region.

However, the actions of confronting the criminological factors and of the crime itself must necessarily be specific and fill a wide range of integrated social and criminal policies, conformed by the same criminological matrix that considers preventions (primary, secondary, tertiary and victimization) and repression, in the light of the peculiarities of the communities.

There is much talk about organized crime, often showing incomplete or distorted understanding of the phenomenon and its surroundings, manifestations and consequences in the urban crime pyramid, whose apex is occupied by the chiefs and the staffs of managers, counselors, and washers Of money.

There are people who need to vitally maintain a facade of legality to give permanence to the criminal organization and thus enhance the ability to obtain illegal power and money. West, part has to be “washed” to reinforce the “legal” face of the organization; the other part, dirty, descends to where many know to be the maximum hierarchy of organized crime, the intermediate level of the pyramid gangs or flocks, which do not wash money, because they do not need legal disguises.

With the money back guarantee for the top, multiplied a few times, this money serves to finance, for example, the wholesale drug merchant, which then goes down a little more to the big retail.

The confrontation of crime at these two levels must have two marks: permanent and persistent work of intelligence; and relentless repression. Against the top of organized crime, financial intelligence must prevail, in a joint activity of the Financial Activities Control Council – COAF, the Federal Revenue Service, the Central Bank, the Federal Police, the Brazilian Intelligence Agency – ABIN and the Federal Public Prosecutor’s Office and state.

There are recent agreements between these bodies, which tend to boost the fight against money laundering, the nutrient of organized crime. Against the intermediate level of the pyramid, police intelligence and repression are the guarantors of effectiveness.

The understanding of the reality of these two segments of crime will not be complete without the perception of the role of corruption for its continuity in time and functioning. Corruption aimed at fraud in sectors of the financial system, for the “legalization” of illegal assets; corruption to co-opt state agents, guaranteeing facilities and impunity.

Therefore, parallel investigations must be carried out by independent police magistrates, the Public Prosecutor’s Office, the Central Bank, the Controlling Offices, the Ethics Commissions, and finally by all bodies with the attribution of any external control over institutions or persons against whom there are indications of impropriety.


As for crime prevention at the top and middle of the pyramid

As for crime prevention at the top and middle of the pyramid

Unfortunately, it is only possible to reason with the secondary, deterrent, through the efficacious effectiveness of repression and criminal justice.

At the bottom of the pyramid of urban crime are children and adolescents immersed in an essentially criminogenic culture, composed of factors that induce violence that are not opposed by the formal and informal instances of social control and even encouraged by the absence of some of them.

Some are listed, varying their criminogenic importance according to the circumstances of each community: family disaggregation difficulty accessing State services (health, education, basic sanitation, justice, security, domotic violence, violence at school, drug use; lack of areas and leisure and sports activities, unemployment, cultural development difficulties, lack of assistance and solidarity to victims of violence, precarious conditions of preparation for social reintegration of the victims and adolescents in conflict with the law, sexual exploitation of In the country, thousands of young people succumb to the call of the crime according to a difficult process to define if of synthesizing these factors in a single, the devaluation of life (the own and of the others) or of atomization of this, generating the numerous inducers of violence, combined with the narrow margin of tolerance the frustrations of the expectations of consumerism and hedonism, elevated to the status of cultural values ​​by society and the media.


Everything stimulated by the lucrative profitability of crime

Everything stimulated by the lucrative profitability of crime

Following the example of drug trafficking – made possible by top-down vertical injection of illegal money into the criminality pyramid (thefts and robberies practiced by, irony, free-lancers, painting). Queuing for employment as “soldiers” of stride, thousands more.

This is due to failures in social control by the aforementioned informal bodies (family, school, religions, profession, culture, customs, neighborhood, third sector, media, public opinion, etc.) and formal ones (police, prosecutors, financial, etc.). This being a part of the etiology of crime, tackling the problem has to rebuild social control point by point.

With regard to the universe of young people at risk of entering crime, let us return to the first paragraph of this text and we will soon see that the new paradigm values ​​the strengthening of informal institutions and the communitarization of formal ones, under the focus of primary prevention, prevention of the first detours to violence and delinquency.


This approach represents a breach of previous prevention practices

This approach represents a breach of previous prevention practices

Which made the deterrence of potential offenders only effective in criminal and police-repressive policies. The failure of this vision, as evidenced by the unacceptably high crime rates, has led to a change in direction towards social management in public security, which has been implemented by the Federal Government since March 2001 in metropolitan areas that today seven.

The methodology of this Plan for the Prevention of Urban Violence is based on the following basic ideas:

1) selection of fifty programs of the Multi-Year Investment Plan (Avança Brasil) related directly or indirectly to inducers of violence, distributed by thirteen ministries;

2) identification of the areas of greatest incidence and production of violence and crime in the municipalities of metropolitan regions;

3) definition, with the community leaders, of the main necessities and necessities of inducers of violence;

4) establishment of projects to respond effectively to these needs and needs, structured on the integration of selected programs among those fifty;

5) articulation of these federal projects with their state, municipal and third sector correspondents, avoiding overlaps;

6) stimulated the adhesion of the private initiative in support of the projects;

7) mobilization of people from communities for participation, through local leadership;

8) leadership training for the implementation and execution of projects;

9) deployment;

10) monitoring, evaluation of implementation and, if necessary, course correction.

The synthesis of these ideas is to integrate social programs to optimize their results, giving young people a focus on their community environment, in order to confront local violence inducers.



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